How ransomware attacks work and how to protect your buildingAs the world becomes more connected via the internet, the sophistication of criminals keeps pace. Ransomware is a means of gaining access to your devices and then locking them. The attack usually encrypts all the data stored on any system, making it impossible to read any files. Paying the ransom does not guarantee that the decryption key is provided to you or that your systems will be fully returned to working order. Consequently, your best route to protection is prevention.
Are you a potential target for ransomware attacks?It might be easy to assume that your business is too small or too easily overlooked to become a victim of such a cyber-attack. These criminals will likely target people who have the funds and will urgently need to pay larger ransoms. An example here is the attack on the Colonial Pipeline in 2021 that would have shut down fuel delivery across large parts of America.
However, this does not discount other targets, as it might be that those with smaller security teams are likely to offer a quicker win. Equally, if you are a law firm or other organisation that holds sensitive data, you might be more of a lucrative target than others.
If you have a BMS that uses many devices connected by the Internet of Things, you are also highly susceptible to attack as there are many points of entry. Ransomware that takes control over the physical infrastructure of your commercial enterprise is obviously particularly disabling to your business.
How to protect yourself from an attack from ransomware.The level of concern regarding ransomware and commercial infrastructure is signalled by the creation of initiatives across the UK, US, and other developed western countries to counter the threat. Governments and private enterprises are coming together to formulate a cohesive response.
However, realistically, it is down to every enterprise to secure their BMS and other connected systems from attack. Technologies are available to offer some resilience from attack, although these are mostly IT oriented solutions not intended for BMS defense. It also requires a continuous commitment from BMS manufacturers to continue to upgrade these security systems, learning quicker than the criminals in blocking pathways into the system.
While it would be easy for BMS designers, manufacturers, and installers to believe that security is the business of another department, security is everyone’s business. It would also be wrong for BMS professionals to ignore this threat when critical infrastructure has been perceived as an easy target by criminals worldwide.
Designing the best systemWhen you redevelop or build your new commercial space, it is tempting to buy an off-the-shelf BMS chosen by your architect. If you want security built into your premises, you are better off working with a team that specialises in BMS design. Cube Controls has worked with the UK Government on various BMS and IoT cyber research projects and stands at the forefront of cyber defense system design. As we design your BMS, we will be conscious of the many security issues that interconnectivity presents to your business.
While we are fully aware of the power of the IoT to make business more effective and efficient, we will always design systems that keep your business secure from criminal attacks. Contact Cube Controls to learn more about our full service.